FORT HOOD, Texas (Fox 44) — Today there are so many different resources for service members and their immediate families if they need help with their mental health. It’s especially a large priority for those soldiers just coming back from deployment.
“Coming home is stressful,” Major Robert Jackson said, the Brigade Chaplain for the Air Cav Brigade. “It can be stressful. It can also be joyful. There’s a lot of great things about coming out of it. But, you know, for some of our soldiers, coming back home can be a stressful time.”
That’s why Jackson says it’s so important to discuss the value of life and the resources offered.
Soldier suicide is something that affects every military installation in the country, and even the world.
The United Service Organizations reported that in 2021, over 30,000 active duty soldiers and veterans that served after 9/11 committed suicide.
But Major Jackson says they work every day with different departments and organizations to offer the resources needed.
“There are chaplains there, chaplains trained at the family life center who are family life chaplains,” he told Fox 44 News. “There’s the behavioral health will be embedded behavioral health teams that are, you know, with each unit. So there’s plenty of resources to help soldiers. And we’ve really done a good job, I think, of bringing those resources together to give soldiers options wherever they feel the most comfortable.”
He says that during his time connected with the military, he has seen a large shift in the way mental health is handled and says it’s no different from a physical injury.
“If I break my foot, I’m going to go get x-rays and I’m going to put my foot in a cast and I’m a go through, you know, physical therapy. And I’m like, get my foot back where it needs to be so I can run. Same thing with those spiritual those emotional wounds that sometimes I just need to get the help. I need to get the treatment. So we’re trying to tell soldiers to say, look, it’s okay to reach out.”
He finished by stating their greatest weapon against suicide is their soldiers and leaders, as they are the first line of defense for someone who may just need to talk before taking the step to seek professional help.
For anyone experiencing these type of emotions, service member or not, 988 is the National Suicide Hotline that can be called 24 hours seven days a week.